By Allen Cone
Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami (R) speaks Saturday during a ceremony unveiling a new missile, called Hoveizeh, which he says i capable of traveling more than 800 miles. Photo courtesy Iran Defense Ministry/EPA
Feb. 2 (UPI) — Iran announced Saturday it successfully fired a cruise missile with a range of more than 800 miles, including the capability of reaching Israel.
The test firing was 40 years after 1979 Islamic Revolution in which the monarch was overthrown.
The Hoveizeh missle was shown off at a ceremony in Tehran and the private-run Tasnim News Agency published a 37-second video of the test-firing alongside its report.
„The test of the Hoveizeh cruise missile was carried out successfully at a range of 1,200 kilometers [840 miles] and accurately hit the set target,“ Brig. Gen. Amir Amir Hatami, the defense minister, said on state television. „It can be ready in the shortest possible time and flies at a very low altitude.“
At the ceremony in Tehran, Hatami described the Hoveizeh missile as as „the symbol of self-belief and an important defense achievement based on today’s technological progress in the world.“
He added „no obstacle can hinder the Iranian nation’s determination and will in the defense field, and the nation „will decisively respond to any kind of threat at the same level.“
The missile has a range of 839 miles and was successfully fired in the video at a distance of 745 miles. The air distance between western Iran and Tel Aviv is 771 miles. There was no independent confirmation of Tehran’s claims, the Times of Israel reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iran of testing a medium-range ballistic missile capable of „carrying multiple warheads,“ which he said could strike „anywhere“ in the Middle East, including Israel, and even parts of Europe.
At a space tech conference, he said „hundreds of kilometers of tunnels dug underneath [Israelis‘] feet, and the resistance forces in Gaza and Lebanon have missiles with pinpoint accuracy and are ready to respond to any foolish Israeli behavior with an inferno.“
Last, year, U.S. President Donald Trump ended the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions.
On Wednesday, Iran announced the production of large amounts of yellowcake, a precursor to enriched uranium. Two batches were shipped to a uranium conversion facility.
In February 2018, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, called for a boost in Iran’s defense capabilities.
„Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defense, even if the whole world is opposed to it,“ Khamenei said at the time.